By Kirstin Olsen
There was plenty of star power this past weekend in Atlanta when almost 1,200 teams from all over the nation competed at the Big South Girls' Junior National Qualifier at the Georgia World Congress Center trying to earn bids to the USA Volleyball Girls' Junior National Championships in Columbus, Ohio at the end of June.
Top clubs such as Triangle of North Carolina, Front Range Volleyball Club of Colorado and Orlando VB Academy of Florida featured high-level talent on all of their squads.
In the 16 Open final, A5 Mizuno 16-1 beat the young team of Front Range 16 Blue 25-14, 25-14.
In the 17 Open final, OVA 17 Asics topped Mizuno Northern lights 17-1 25-22, 16-25, 15-13.
And Tampa Bay Juniors 18 Black beat Orange County VBC 18 NIKE 25-17, 25-18 with the help of Miss Volleyball USA Jordan Burgess.
Here are 10 standouts with graduation year and club team:
Jordyn Poulter, 2015, Front Range 16 Blue: This dynamic young lady had college coaches lining almost all of her Front Range 16 Blue team’s matches. She has a nice high delivery and can set behind at ease, advanced traits for a freshman. She put up a solid block and has great size. The Eaglecrest (Centennial, Colo.) star will be a treat for any top-10 program.
Jordan Burgess, 2012, Tampa Bay Juniors 18-1: You can’t walk into the gym and not notice Burgess. She is a dynamic weapon in the front row, moving the ball around, crushing angles and lines. She plays defense like a ninja and is equally dangerous with her back-row attack. The Berkeley Prep (Tampa, Fla.) senior will be an asset for Stanford and will definitely get playing time her freshman year. Her accolades for ESPNHS Miss Volleyball USA and Gatorade National Player of the Year were very deserving.
Sidney Brown, 2014, Tampa Bay Juniors 18-1: This powerful outside hitter was an impressive balance to Burgess. In her first year of competitive club volleyball, she is definitely getting the attention of college coaches. The Berkeley Prep sophomore hits a very heavy ball and will continue to grow as a player under the coaching of Randy Dagostino.
Rebekah Roe, 2012, HPSTL 18 Navy: This fiery libero was a treat to watch scramble everywhere. She repeatedly dug ESPNHS Miss Volleyball USA Jordan Burgess on a variety of sharp, hard angles with ease. The Marquette (Chesterfield, Mo.) senior moves around the court quickly and does a good job reading hitters' arms frustrating them when she continues to dig their hardest hits.
Madison Bugg, 2012, Triangle 18 Black: Bugg, a senior at Cardinal Gibbons (Raleigh, N.C.), is a smart setter who knows how to use her weapons. The ESPNHS All-American does a great job running her offense and moving the ball around. Stanford will be lucky to have such a talent next year.
Christina Vucich, 2012, Triangle 18 Black: The 6-4 lefty opposite is multi-talented on the right with her setting skills. Triangle 18 Black has a lethal attack utilizing Vucich and Madison Bugg on the right. Vucich, a senior at Green Hope (Cary, N.C.) is quick on her feet and will definitely be a great contribution to Duke as she matures as a college player.
Kylie Randall, 2013, Asics Willowbrook 17-1: The 6-3 outside is solid on the right. The Magnolia (Texas) junior puts up a nice block and can hammer on the angle. She will be an asset for Ohio State in 2013.
Kali Funk, 2013, Top Select 17-1: The 5-11 fiery setter has great hands and location. The First Academy (Orlando, Fla.) junior had several college coaches surrounding her court watching her and her Top Select 17 team battle on Day 2 of the Big South.
Carolyn Bockrath, 2014, Orange County 17-1: The 6-2 middle blocker is solid in the middle. She led her team to the final against Tampa Bay Juniors in the 18 open division. The Newport Harbor (Newport Beach, Calif.) sophomore has yet to commit but will be an addition to any Division I team.
Kathryn Hutson, 2014, Alliance 16 Mizuno: The solid 6-3 outside hitter plays big at the net. She is the sister of University of Texas Longhorn 6-6 middle blocker Madelyn Hutson. The Ravenwood (Brentwood, Tenn.) sophomore has a heavy arm and has good size for an opposite.